About the SMF Research  Symposium

The SMF Research Symposium is an annual conference hosted by the department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF) at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario. The symposium is a one-day conference that highlights student and faculty research dealing generally with relationships, families, and human sexuality.

The Research Symposium was first launched by SMF faculty and students in 2009 to bring together an academic community of shared interests in scholarship and research. It is our hope that this Symposium will continue to serve as a forum for growth and development within the fields of sexuality, relationships, and families, as well as provide a space for future innovations and professional exploration. The SMF Department encourages an overarching vision of social justice and anti-oppression through research and scholarship, and emphasizes the importance of that vision through the Research Symposium.

The Symposium has become a staple of the SMF Department and is much-anticipated by students and community members alike. Each year, it offers an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to present their research and engage in critical discussions about important issues in the relationships and sexuality fields. These critical discussions often take on a practical or applied focus – how research translates into practice in the human services fields.

The SMF Research Symposium team and the SMF Department are committed to creating a venue where we can explore and discuss theory and research in critical and accessible ways!  We hope that you will join us and add your voice to these important discussions.

Information about the 2019 Symposium event will be posted soon to http://www.sju.ca/public-events. We apologize for any inconvenience as we transition these pages to the main St. Jerome’s University website. For more information, please contact Toni Serafini at tserafini@uwaterloo.ca

See past Symposium presentations and keynote speakers in our Archive!


Feedback from Attendees

Over the years, attendees have highlighted what they enjoyed about the conference and what brings them back. Overall, people have commented on the sense of community that is created, the professionalism and diversity of the presentations, and that fact that the conference invites them to think critically about topics that are not typically discussed in society.

These are the attendees’ voices:

General comments:

“As a clinician in the community this TedTalk style of research presentation was wonderful.”
“It was like listening to multiple TedTalks all day long! Fabulous!”
“I loved the atmosphere and encouragement between presenters!”
“I loved the diverse, open dialogue and connecting the research to [the] future of social issues.”
“My faith in humanity is restored!”

Comments about students and faculty:

“The students! Such important research and such smart students! I’m bragging about all of the students and faculty here … I need a job here!”
“Very well prepared students!”
“I felt welcomed and also felt a real warmth from the SMF community here at Waterloo.”

What I learned:

“I’m left with a variety of knowledge and I know that, based on the current research, I have complete confidence in the youth constructing it.”
“How to navigate my relationships and use research to understand personal life.”
“The language I use around sexuality and how I pass on information about sexuality.”
Have “healthier views on sexuality – less shame.”